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AdobeStock_227413125_Stage Digitization in pharmacies

Digital Transformation in Pharmacies

CardLink, KIM and the TI Messenger

The Digital Pharmacy with KIM, TI-M and CardLink
Digital Transformation
Healthcare & Life Science

The digital transformation is also in full swing in pharmacies. New technologies such as KIM (Kommunikation im Medizinwesen), the TI-Messenger (Telematikinfrastruktur-Messenger) and CardLink are opening up new opportunities to make day-to-day work in pharmacies more efficient and easier. In the following blog article, we want to highlight the advantages of these technologies and outline brief use cases.

Status quo: How digital is a pharmacy today?

Pharmacies are in the midst of digitalization. Not only because the introduction of the telematics infrastructure and services such as KIM demand it of them. They also need to remain competitive against large online mail-order pharmacies. However, the acceptance of digital technologies in pharmacies varies greatly. Some pharmacies have recognized the benefits and implemented the new technologies quickly, while others still rely on traditional methods. The complexity of TI solutions and artificial intelligence technologies and the associated training costs also play a role here.

Digital turning point for pharmacies: the e-prescription

The introduction of e-prescriptions caused a stir in the pharmacy landscape. The changeover was a challenge and, above all, a change - not only for the service providers, but also for the insured persons. While local pharmacies were pleased that prescribed medication was only available there thanks to the e-prescription, online pharmacies felt disadvantaged. They were left holding the drugs. That was the birth of CardLink.

What is CardLink?

With the help of CardLink, insured persons can not only collect their prescribed medication in person from the local pharmacy, but also conveniently redeem their e-prescription via their smartphone. They only need two things for this: the electronic health card (eGK) and a smartphone with the corresponding app. The eGK is used to retrieve the e-prescription from the specialist service and also to verify the insured person. The medication can be ordered with just a few clicks, offering a particularly convenient method for patients who are unable to leave their bed.


However, large online mail-order pharmacies are not the only option. Small and large stationary pharmacies can also obtain access to CardLink with the help of their trusted IT service provider. This allows the insured person to check in the app after a visit to the doctor whether the prescribed medicine is in stock nearby - provided the function is available in the respective pharmacy management software. The advantage: prompt delivery. This is because local pharmacies can deliver medicines two to three times a day thanks to their courier service - an absolute plus point if you need a medicine at short notice. It is therefore also worthwhile for rural, smaller pharmacies to move into the digital fast lane.

The KIM and TI-M communication siblings in pharmacies

KIM and TI-M offer many advantages for pharmacy staff. They enable the fast, secure and, in particular, data protection-compliant exchange of information, facilitate communication with other healthcare providers and open up new opportunities for patient care.

The TI-Messenger for service providers is specified by gematik and is therefore the only interoperable way to communicate with other TI-M users in the healthcare sector via instant messaging on a smartphone or tablet. It is as easy to use as common everyday messaging services, meets the high security requirements in the medical sector and can be integrated into existing systems. In addition, the TI Messenger will also be made available to insured persons via the ePA (electronic patient file) from 2025, thus offering a direct channel to customers. Around 30% of prescriptions raise questions at the pharmacy - is the medication/dosage correct, or are there queries about the issue date, signature, etc.? TI-M provides the optimum communication channel for this problem, allowing queries to be put to the specialist. In addition, TI-M will in future offer the opportunity to make direct digital contact with customers, for example to provide assisted telemedicine services.

KIM describes the service for e-mail communication between service providers, but excludes insured persons. KIM ensures the secure exchange of data and information and has also been mandatory for pharmacies since April 2024. The possible uses of the mail service are similarly diverse to those of TI-M: for example, doctors can send necessary information about the prescription issued in advance to prevent queries from the pharmacy.

Digitize Your Pharmacy Now

KIM, the TI Messenger and CardLink make everyday life easier for pharmacies. The technologies should be given the chance to prove themselves and the added value will be noticeable very soon. Pharmacy staff will regain time and save time with customers who can order from the comfort of their own homes or nursing staff who can easily contact them via chat if they have any questions. The first step to being able to use KIM, TI-M and CardLink is the connection to the telematics infrastructure. Your local IT service provider plays an important role in this process by connecting pharmacies to the TI, supporting the implementation of the applications and providing the necessary training.

Arvato Systems supports your service providers with extensive experience in the digitalization of the healthcare sector. As the operator of the central TI services, we have unique expertise in the field of telematics infrastructure. But our TI product portfolio also shows this: The German medical system is in our blood.

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Written by

Laurin Hardt
Expert for Digitalization in the Healthcare Sector